5 Things Not to Say to Someone Who Has Had a Miscarriage
When one in four women suffer from pregnancy loss, it’s nice to know what not to say.
Miscarriage and pregnancy loss are heartbreaking things to deal with. Having recently suffered a miscarriage myself, I have learned a few things on how to cope and deal with my grief, but I’ve also learned a few things of what not to do. Specifically what people should NOT say to someone after they have had a miscarriage. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
1. 'At least it was early.'
Sorry, no, it doesn’t matter how early it was. I knew my baby. I carried my baby no matter how short of a time I knew in my heart that this was my baby and I wanted this baby. Listen, I’m the biggest pro choice supporter out there, and if you want to get an abortion you have my full support, but don’t tell me that this wasn’t a real baby because it was so early. I planned for this baby, I wanted this baby, and my heart breaks that I won’t get to meet my baby.
2. 'Well at least you already have one kid.'
I’m sorry I don’t care if you have zero kids or 18 kids. Having a miscarriage and losing a baby you so desperately wanted hurts like hell, no matter how many kids you have. Sure, it may make it a teeny tiny bit easier if you already have a child prior to having a miscarriage. Like my doctor said, “at least you know you can have a healthy baby” as much as that is supposed to be comforting. It doesn’t make losing my baby hurt any less.
3. 'It’s for the best.'
Sure, some miscarriages happen because the baby wasn’t healthy and the baby wouldn’t have survived very long, if at all, if you had delivered it. But saying “it’s for the best” or “it’s God’s plan” is not helpful. Granted I’m not the most religious person out there, so who knows, maybe a more religious person would actually appreciate a comment like “it’s Gods plan.” Some people might take comfort in that, but for me and others who are not religious, this comment doesn’t help. It only makes me question why a loving God would take away an innocent baby without giving it a chance to live.
4. 'Have you tried so and so herbs/essential oil/organic diet?'
I appreciate you trying to give me advice on things that helped you, but unless you are a medical professional—specifically my own doctor—I don’t really need nor want your advice. I already am eating and staying as healthy as I can; exercising regularly and eating as many organic foods as I can find (or afford), but I don’t need your great grandma’s ancient recipe of different exotic herbs from the "old country" that you swear helps with fertility. Thanks, but no thanks.
5. And probably the rudest thing anyone could ever say:
“Maybe there’s something wrong with you.” Excuse me, what? No. Considering miscarriage happens to every one in four women, there is nothing wrong with me. It is way more common than anyone knows or lets on. Since miscarriage and pregnancy loss are still so taboo and so hard to talk about, people don’t realize how common it really is. Even if there is technically “something wrong with you,” how dare anyone actually say that to you? Infertility is a frustrating and heartbreaking thing to deal with and asking someone if there is something wrong with them because they had a miscarriage is pretty much just asking to get punched in the face.
Listen, I get it...pregnancy loss and miscarriage are hard and awkward things to talk about. But before you put your foot in your mouth and say something you might regret, just stop and think of what you would want to hear if you are ever in this situation. “This sucks, I’m so sorry. Do you need anything? Do you want a glass of wine?”